Things seem to be coming together for Canadian cross-country skier Devon Kershaw.
The 28-year-old won his second silver medal in as many days on Sunday in the third stage of the prestigious Tour de Ski.
In Saturday's race Kershaw moved from 37th position to second, afterwards saying he believes he is one of the best skiers in the world. But the Canadian knows he is competing in a tough field.
"I respect my competitors," Kershaw said. "These guys are no slouches and are the best in the world.
"Yesterday I was beat by an Olympic and World Cup champion. Today I got nipped by the overall World Cup sprint leader. I'm in good company right now."
Sweden's Emil Joensson won Stage 3 while Tour leader Dario Cologna of Switzerland finished third. Kershaw now sits less than four seconds behind the Swiss skier in overall time. Alexander Legkov of Russia is third overall almost 20 seconds behind Kershaw.
Canadians on top
The back-to-back silver medals for the Sudbury, Ont., native are even more impressive considering the diversity of the events: Saturday's was a distance race and Sunday's a sprint.
It was a good weekend for his teammate Alex Harvey as well. The 22-year-old finished third in his heat and seventh overall to move him up to fourth in overall standings.
"It was a good surprise for me today," said Harvey, who is from St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que. "I was fast in my heats but came up a bit short. This is just really good for my confidence and I have to be happy with my position heading into the mass start pursuit."
Ivan Babikov is in 37th place heading into Stage 4. The two-time Olympian is known for his distance racing.
Battling fatigue and illness
While Canadian men are second and fourth right now, new team head coach Justin Wadsworth isn't taking any chances. The team rented a tour bus where athletes can relax and focus between races.
"As a team we knew we were capable of these results and the guys are capable of more," Wadsworth said. "We are hammering the recovery and hitting it full bore. We are definitely leading the world in this area.
"Fatigue and illness is always a concern, but that is why we got the bus to help these guys be ready."
Perhaps nobody knows this better than Kershaw.
In his four previous attempts at Tour de Ski, he has been forced to withdraw from the event twice due to illness.
"I love the Tour and it is the future of our sport, but it is long and you can't get ahead of yourself," Kershaw said. "I know you can get sick. Anything can happen and you are done."
Monday's pursuit race is the last event in Germany before the Tour moves to Italy.